Moving from Spanish Translation to a Full Spanish Ministry with Tim Hill

Thanks for tuning in for the unSeminary podcast. Today we’re talking with Tim Hill, executive pastor at Bear Creek Church, located at the crossroads of West Houston, Katy and Cypress, Texas.

Every zip code in America is more diverse today than it was ten years ago. And it will be even more diverse ten years from now. Listen in as Tim shares how Bear Creek Church paid attention to the opportunities around them and the practical steps they took to serve their changing community better.

  • Serving the community. // As Bear Creek grew over the years, they noticed their demographic changing and they developed a significant Hispanic representation in the church. This group of people spoke Spanish as their primary language, but had children that were speaking English as their primary language. So the church arranged for listening devices that could be used during a service, enabling a Spanish speaker to listen to the sermon being translated to their native language.
  • A growing Spanish Ministry. // The need for Spanish translation kept growing as the community outside the church saw more Hispanic people come to the area. So Bear Creek decided a separate Spanish service was needed not only to serve this people group better, but also to help them fully connect with the church. Before launching a Spanish service, they made sure they had Spanish speakers as a part of their leadership throughout the ministries of the church. Initially for the Spanish service the church utilized guest preachers, but as they continued to grow they hired a part time Spanish Ministries Pastor.
  • Spanish Service. // To ensure that they are one church with two different expressions, the Spanish Ministries Pastor preaches the sermon one week behind from the English services. He gets the written sermon so he can review and personalize it for the people in his congregation.
  • One church. // Rather than having separate English and Spanish versions of every ministry, translators are placed in each ministry so they can communicate with Spanish speakers. Kids ministry, for example, is in English, but there are always Spanish translators available to interact with parents or help where needed.
  • Take a look at the budget. // To ensure that the Spanish Ministry feels fully a part of the church, Bear Creek makes sure that the budget for that ministry is meeting its needs, whether it’s for more staff, a bigger meeting space, or the latest technology for the service. The budget is growing as the ministry is growing.
  • Lead change, don’t introduce change. // Introducing change can freak people out if there’s a sudden culture shift. But leading change will offer you the opportunity to cast vision to your church. Do the research and determine whether the change will be a minor shift or a bigger shift. What are the opportunities there? Come up with a plan and be strategic about what you communicate.
  • Set goals to determine your next step. // It’s natural to use attendance as a goal marker, but figure out what is the story behind it and what is your next step. Once Bear Creek moved from Spanish translation to a full Spanish service, they saw that attendance continued to grow. That marker told them that their part time Spanish Ministries Pastor needed to be moved to full time. It also signaled the need to set goals for communications, additional staffing, and raising the quality of their Spanish service. As you seek to serve your community better, pay attention to what an increase in attendance might be signaling for you.

You can learn more about Bear Creek Church and reach out to Tim at

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Episode Transcript

Rich Birch — Well, hey, everybody welcome to the unSeminary podcast. Man, I’m really looking forward to today’s conversation, been looking forward to this one for awhile. We’ve got Pastor Tim Hill with us. He’s the executive pastor at a church that you should be tracking with, Bear Creek Church. They started as a bible study in the late 70s and currently is one of the fastest growing churches in the country. Ah, they have and they’re located at the crossroads of West Houston, Katy and Cyprus, Texas – fantastic part of the country. We’re looking forward to learning from you today, Tim – welcome to the show.

Tim Hill — Hey, thanks for having me.

Rich Birch — So tell us a little bit about Bear Creek, kind of give us the the flavor if people were to arrive this weekend, what would it look like? Kind of fill out that picture a little bit.

Tim Hill — You bet. So Bear Creek sits right at um, an intersection where you find people shopping and buying their groceries ,where they’re doing life, but right around that it’s all communities and neighborhoods where people live, ah schools near us. We have four or five major elementary schools, two or three high schools. So lots of families live right where we are, and so they do life together as they come to church. When they ah when they arrive we’re we’re really a ah multi-ethnic church. We have um around 25 or 30 different countries represented, both within the Hispanic community, but also quite a few people from the continent of Africa.

Rich Birch — Oh very cool.

Tim Hill — And so they’ll even be wearing those colorful outfits that they wear when they dress up and go to church. And um…

Rich Birch — Love it.

Tim Hill — Anyway, it’s just ah, a place where everybody feels welcome and warm and loved and that’s really important to us that we create that environment and that experience. We have multiple styles of worship services. We’ve got activities for every age group going on at the same time. So…

Rich Birch — Love it.

Tim Hill — …everybody can find their place to fit in and and enjoy worshiping and and growing in their faith.

Rich Birch — So good. Now you know it seems like the executive pastor—we love executive pastors here, executive pastors here at unSeminary; I’ve spent a lot of time in those roles—but every executive pastor you talk to, their role looks a little bit different.

Tim Hill — Yeah.

Rich Birch — Ah, tell me about how you frame up that role. If somebody at a church says executive pastor – what is that? How do you explain that?

Tim Hill — Yeah, well really the the simplest and easiest way is the pastor casts the vision and sets the direction for the course. The pastor and I have a great relationship, but then he leans into me to make sure that I am. working with the staff and driving the church that direction. So…

Rich Birch — Love it.

Tim Hill — …I lighten his load. I am his number one servant is the way I look at it. And so um, he he he…

Rich Birch — So good.

Tim Hill — Yeah. He leads the church, and I run the church.

Rich Birch — Love it. So good. Yeah, in another context I’ve talked about how, you know, executive pastors lead at the intersection of vision and execution; kind of where do those two things intersect you find an executive pastor.

Tim Hill — Yeah.

Rich Birch — That’s so cool. Well you are one of the fastest growing churches; you lead within one of the fastest growing churches in the country. When you think back to the last, I don’t know number of years, what would be some of those changes or areas of growth or development that you’ve seen at Bear Creek that might be interesting for us to kind of kick around and explore today.

Tim Hill — You bet. So like a lot of churches the last few years have been crazy and we’ve had a lot of churn. And so there are times we look in our church and it’s a whole different group of people than what it was say even 5, 6, 7 years ago.

Rich Birch — That’s so true.

Tim Hill — One of those areas is as we just watched the demographics within our community adjust and change, we have a significant um Hispanic representation – folks that in the home Spanish is their primary language but yet their kids are growing up ah in learning English as their primary language. So we we saw as a church that we needed to adapt and adjust. We had always had a little bit of a Spanish ministry, but it was not very friendly to that culture…

Rich Birch — Love it.

Tim Hill — …and that and that group people. So they would come to church. They could go and pick up some really some listening devices. They could go into the service and while they’d be in an English service, somebody live was sitting there translating the pastor’s message while he was preaching it.

Rich Birch — I love that. Let’s let’s dig into this. So what would be some of those signs that you noticed, oh there’s a shift happening in our culture, that you know, you start to say oh there’s you know we’re seeing different folks arrive. What were some of the, you know, some of those things that were kind of telltale signs of that?

Tim Hill — Yeah, so one was the people that we had coming we, just with our relationships with them, were listening and they were letting us know of folks coming in. The other is we have a great relationship with our school district. We have the ah, we sit within the third largest school district in the state of Texas.

Rich Birch — Wow. Okay.

Tim Hill — Over over 100,000 kids are a part of the school district and the school system is excellent. We can go look at each school near us and identify what is the makeup in that school. And we started seeing that the kids going there were were coming from homes where Spanish was being spoken. So they were identifying themselves as Hispanic. And so as we saw that, like and then when I say grown, several of the elementary schools over half the kids identify as Hispanic coming family wise.

Rich Birch — Wow.

Tim Hill — So so as we saw that, we knew there was an opportunity there. When we think when I think about challenges or problems or I just I immediately think, Okay, where’s the opportunity here? What can we do with this?

Rich Birch — Yeah, absolutely.

Tim Hill — Is there something we can do with it or not? And if we can, what does that look like? So I just that’s how I go at it is ask those kind of questions, and that’s how we identified the opportunity there.

Rich Birch — Yeah I love that. So then you’ve add you added Spanish translation. We’ve done this as as well at our church. Talk to us about kind of that process. What did that look like um as you started to add that in, and then what impact did that have on the folks that you know you’re reaching?

Tim Hill — You bet. So the Spanish translation, ah we had folks that were the pastor’s voice in Spanish is how we did that.

Rich Birch — Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm.

Tim Hill — So there were a couple of people the pastor would have to he scripts out his message. So now it’s it’s fairly rough; I mean he’s obviously going to deviate sometimes in the midst of that, but they would sit in a room with a device watching and listening the service, and then looking at his script, and then doing that for those folks. Now in order to give something a little more personal, we did have a bible study in Spanish at an alternate hour. But as we saw that growing, I’ll tell you we we shifted just before the pandemic and then we almost had to relaunch it after the pandemic, and that is a full out Spanish service.

Rich Birch — Okay.

Tim Hill — So we consider ourselves, instead of multisite, we’re like multisite within our site. So ah, we added at 11:00 at the same time that our English, one of our modern services going on, we have a service entirely in Spanish.

Rich Birch — Okay, I love that.

Tim Hill — And so that led us to have to… oh go ahead.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I love that. So let’s talk about that transition. What led… because I think there’s a lot… So first of all I’ve experienced exactly what you you what you’ve done. We’ve added Spanish in and have found, you know, it’s it’s a fascinating um ah, transition. It came about as we really tried to engage with Hispanic leaders in our community, people that were part of our church, and saying hey that would be a great add. But then obviously you saw that start to meet a need and then what led you to think, Okay, now we want to take the step to a full service, and then let’s talk through what that service actually looks like.

Tim Hill — You bet. So in that first stage with listening devices and people following along and engaging, when we saw that number growing from 20 to 30 to 40, we just knew that in listening to some of those folks, they wanted to worship in Spanish. That’s their heart language. That’s how that’s how they grew up experiencing God in their life. And yet they wanted their kids growing up English to be able to be a part of the church.

Tim Hill — Now, a key focus for us, we’d watched other churches do this. It was really important that we stayed one church, but with different languages. So in order to do that, we strategically started thinking about leaders, like several of those Spanish ah, Ministry leaders, they serve as deacons in our church. They serve on our finance committee. They serve on our personnel committee. And so we made sure that they were a part of um, all the areas of leadership. Um, then we I approached to this just like if you were launching a church.

Rich Birch — Right.

Tim Hill — So if you in all the research of the preview services—so we started off at an Easter—you pick a big day and you launch with a service on that day. Prior to that we did a one just to almost like a practice run.

Rich Birch — Right.

Tim Hill — Is our technology good? Are we in good shape? Because it’s a different service. Our our media and worship guys, they all had to work at finding Spanish worship leaders so they had their ah end of that. So we did a kind of a early test trial run service, then we did the Easter service and then from there we did a once a month Spanish service. Um…

Rich Birch — Okay, love it.

Tim Hill — And we did that in our student building so we had to flex a little bit with our student ministry but use their worship space to help us. In the process of doing that, we started ramping up to use our gym and create it just like if somebody were going into a school. It’s it’s portable church in the gym.

Rich Birch — Okay.

Tim Hill — And we built up to where we could do that every Sunday. Also in that process it was creating an invite strategy for those folks, a promotion strategy to the Spanish speaking families in our community. So that’s where we went. We started with a part time Spanish pastor. So early on the the pastors preaching in those services were just guest…

Rich Birch — Right.

Tim Hill — …preachers coming in in Spanish. But then we knew we had to add a staff person. We started with a we actually started with a part time Spanish Ministries Pastor. Um…

Rich Birch — Okay, so…

Tim Hill — And then it grew from there.

Rich Birch — Yeah, love that. Talk to me about how… so I’d like to dive in on this whole area of um, how do we ensure that we’re one church in really two different expressions. What does that functionally look like? Because for folks that aren’t listening in this is one of the we’ll call it challenges, difficulties, opportunities that can come up with churches as they’ve added any kind of second language ministry is it can start to feel like, oh we’re two separate churches meeting in the same building. So how do you… let’s talk about maybe at the functional level, you know, the services. How do you ensure that it feels like, hey these are kind of two expressions of the same thing? How do you integrate teaching or do you even try to integrate teaching? You know how do you integrate the you know the worship experience, all that? What what does that look like?

Tim Hill — We do. So the Spanish Ministries Pastor, he preaches our pastor’s message one week behind.

Rich Birch — Okay, yep. Love it.

Tim Hill — So he personalizes it. So he has the text, he has the outline, and then he can personalize that so that it’s applicable and relational to the people in the Spanish ministry service and their culture.

Rich Birch — Okay.

Tim Hill — So that’s how we keep that as one church at a teaching level. Now on a weekly basis, one thing as a leader um the Spanish ministry’s pastor, and the pastor, and myself have a weekly meeting so we’re keeping him really close to us…

Rich Birch — Yeah

Tim Hill — …and tied into our vision, and where we’re going, and and maintaining a strong relationship. On a weekly basis in the service it is not unusual for me… obviously the services are at the same time so it can be real hard for our lead pastor to get in there, although he does get in there from time to time and we juggle some scheduling around between the services. But I’m in that room every single week.

Rich Birch — Okay.

Tim Hill — Whether I’m on the platform or not. When I go on the platform, the Spanish Ministries Pastor, he he translates for me. Now a lot of the people in that service are bilingual. I wish I were bilingual but um Spanish with an East Texas boy’s accent does not go real well.

Rich Birch — Okay.

Tim Hill — So I can understand it way better than I can speak it.

Rich Birch — Right, right.

Tim Hill — But he does a great job and he translates. So we make sure that they see the all the staff. When they do their their gatherings of new members or membership gatherings to bring people into the church, we as an entire staff, both the Spanish Ministries Pastor and and their leaders, and all the English leaders in preschool and children and students, we all come in and introduce ourselves and they see us. So we’re, from the very beginning, highly focused on identifying and everybody seeing us as one church, one staff, in it together.

Rich Birch — Okay, I love that. And are you doing um kids ministry in Spanish? Ah or is the is the goal to have, because of the kind of first generation/second generation thing, kids ministries in English? Is that… and maybe talk through that decision a little bit because that might not be self-evident for people that haven’t explored in this area.

Tim Hill — You bet. Yeah, our our goal was not to create every single ministry in Spanish and replicate everything. So every ministry there are ah Spanish Ministry volunteers from the Spanish Ministry that are bilingual and so when people come, if the parents are need to speak in Spanish, we have folks there to help them. Ah the the lanyards that those leaders wear are different colors so we can identify who our bilingual leaders are.

Rich Birch — Oh that’s good.

Tim Hill — But those kids are growing up English.

Rich Birch — Right.

Tim Hill — They’re going to school ah, with everybody so we know that the dynamic in the home is even sometimes those kids will come and translate for their parents when they talk to us. So but they want to be involved in the English activities. Plus that’s also where their friends are. That’s where everybody they see at school ah, is part of that. So ah, and so when they come and they’re there with their friends. So that’s just the model we adopted, doesn’t have to be the only way to do it.

Rich Birch — Right.

Tim Hill — But for us that’s what we decided and it’s worked really well. I can tell you that just to give you an idea that Spanish ministry, prior to the pandemic had reached about 170 people in worship on Sundays.

Rich Birch — Okay, yep.

Tim Hill — And then it dipped down and it got hit real hard by the pandemic. And we came back. We were 40 and 50. We brought in a new Spanish Ministries Pastor; that was one of the turnovers in staff at that time. We’re now up to running 250 in our Spanish service…

Rich Birch — Wow! That’s great.

Tim Hill —…on Sunday mornings. So…

Rich Birch — Wow, that’s great. I love that. And you know that’s um, yeah so cool to hear about. So hopefully our relationship can sustain this. I’m sure it can, Tim, because you’re a good guy, you know, but talk talk to me about how we ensure, in the spirit of hey we’re trying to be one church you know in a under in a couple different expressions, how do we ensure that the Spanish ministry doesn’t feel like, you know, the the you know the redheaded stepsister, or the you know the the second class citizen the you know they don’t get as much as as the English ministry side. How are you trying to address that? That I’ve seen that as a real issue in some of these scenarios where it’s like we we want we want to ensure that um, you know, this ministry that kind of gets everything it needs. And so talk to me through how that how do you think about that? How have you tried to work towards that? What’s that looked like?

Tim Hill — Yeah, so we we we are conscious of that, I can tell you. And we ask that question so we really work to ensure that the budget for the Spanish Ministry is growing as they’re growing. It’s meeting the need when where’s the need for an additional staff, we’re adding that staff. When they need an event that’s unique to them, we’re resourcing their ability to do the events. One of the things that I can tell you one of the next challenges we’re facing is because it’s growing, we foresee over the course of the next year it’s going to outgrow the gym. So we’re looking ahead at that service moving from 11 to probably at a 12:15 or 12:30 time slot.

Rich Birch — Okay.

Tim Hill — But moving into our main worship center.

Rich Birch — Okay.

Tim Hill — Which means they will have access to all of the exact same resources. Now while they’re in the gym we are providing as great a resources as we can.

Rich Birch — Love it. Love it.

Tim Hill — And their worship and the leaders that are there and and they have paid leaders and volunteer leaders on the platform. So that’s how we’re doing that. We’re just we’re super conscious of that. And by incorporating them into as much of the other church activities and events and mingling with them, we’re we’re really tackling a lot relationally but also just some of those things that they can see and feel…

Rich Birch — Totally, totally.

Tim Hill — …and then where it’s gonna go in the future. You know they’re a priority to us and we stress that to them all the time. They are the church; they are Bear Creek in Español and…

Rich Birch — Love it. Love it.

Tim Hill — And so we want them to know that and feel that and that’s us a lot of it just relational being there and saying hi all the time and greeting them. So, yeah.

Rich Birch — Are you still doing English translation, or you know, Spanish translation in the English service, or did you get rid of all that together?

Tim Hill — We got rid of all of that.

Rich Birch — Okay, so that this is the option there. That makes total sense. Okay, that’s great. That’s great. Now any kind of surprises as you know now that you’ve been doing this for a while and, you know, obviously, man, that’s incredible to see the growth that you’ve seen is amazing. Love seeing that. That’s so good. Any kind of surprises, things that struck you as like oh this is maybe a little bit different than we anticipated when we first stepped into this area?

Tim Hill — I’ll tell you here’s what’s surprising. We know that the Hispanic community is out there. The way we promote our church in English, being able to get mailing lists and sending cards out and new movers lists and and having all that, it has been much harder to find that information in Spanish. Now we have found it…

Rich Birch — Interesting.

Tim Hill — but but it was not as easy to go out there. And several of the those companies that we resource out to sometimes when we would ask them, hey do do you do this for Spanish so we can specifically target Um, the Spanish in our community? And the answer was no.

Rich Birch — Interesting, interesting.

Tim Hill — Um and so that was a little bit of a challenge and a little bit of a surprise and we found workarounds for that. But…

Rich Birch — Yeah, very cool.

Tim Hill — Um, but that but that was a little bit of a surprise of, knowing how significant that community was, how hard it was to get the word out there that um we were church. You know so we’ve got a big building, sits on the road, people see it. Ah we had to make sure we had signage out on the ah along that road that was in Spanish so that people knew that. That that was just a little bit of a challenge to overcome that barrier. Some people it was intimidating for them to look at that big church and they just thought it was a big English church.

Rich Birch — Right, right, right.

Tim Hill — So that was a little bit of a barrier but, you know, not a surprise to us just one we had to work through. But getting the word out was ah was challenging.

Rich Birch — Has been challenging. Interesting. Well I I just love this. What a great story. So cool to hear. Um, you know I think all of us ah, every zip code in America is more diverse today than it was ten years ago. And it will be more diverse 10 years from now. And I love this, you know, this story of you know your church seeing this opportunity, stepping in, taking practical steps. I love the idea of like hey we tried this thing and it you know seemed to get a bit of traction and then we grew that.

Rich Birch — What would you say to a church leader who’s listening in today, and maybe specifically on, you know, they they look at the demographics of their community. They’re like, hey there’s a growing Hispanic community in our ah, you know, either around us or even in our church. Um, what would you say to them if they’re thinking about, maybe we want to take some steps. Would you suggest they they take similar steps? Is there anything different you would do knowing what you know now?

Tim Hill — Yeah, I I would encourage them, you know, so when I think about this I know the way we did it. It’s really important to lead change and not introduce change.

Rich Birch — Oh that’s good. Good insight.

Tim Hill — You know introducing change or announcing change, that that can freak people out. Particularly something as significant as a a little bit of a cultural shift within your church. Because that’s what will happen is there’ll be a shift there. So um, thinking about strategy and how you do that. Identify those pockets in your community um, and if there’s an opportunity there. But the way that I go about that is I I kind of view view what those opportunities were and then we start praying about it.

Rich Birch — Right. Okay.

Tim Hill — We seek we seek what the Lord’s direction is there. We’ll even, as we start to do that, ask our some of our key spiritual leaders—staff, and even lay leaders—to start praying about that with us. So that’s just a way of seeking God, but also introducing the idea that there may be an opportunity here.

Tim Hill — Then um, while we’re doing that is the research, and figuring out what what is it gonna take? What might it look like? Is it is it a minor shift, like a translation service, or is it um a service in and of itself? Is there another church in the area that’s doing this and are they struggling and can you merge? And I will tell you in merging that you’re going to run into a whole different set of problems because I’ve been in a church where we did that. And when a church comes to you already thinking they’re their own church and if you want to have the idea that we’re one church, two languages, that is a big barrier to overcome. It’s not insurmountable, but it can be really hard. So the way we did it, launching our own we could set the culture right from the beginning.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Tim Hill — Um, when you do run into things that are challenges, I always try to be solution-focused.

Rich Birch — Right.

Tim Hill — So how how are we going to deal with that? You know we we do set some goals in our Spanish Ministry. Um, it’s you know, recognizing the population, but but you got to be real flexible with that and be realistic because it is some of the, for us, the unknown there um…

Rich Birch — Yeah, what what if some of those goals look like; how have you kind of cast those out?

Tim Hill — Yeah.

Rich Birch — What if what is that lean on what’s that look like?

Tim Hill — So, you know so we we kind of set some goals. When you think of so attendance is always the first one that a lot of us in my role and even, you know…

Rich Birch — Yes.

Tim Hill — …we we go straight to attend… but attendance, I I try to figure out what’s the story behind the attendance and what is that telling us to to do next? So with with the launch it’s kind of like I said when we were when we were just um, listening devices and we saw it growing, there’s an opportunity there. What what would be next? So then it’s launching. So then it’s smaller part time. So then at Easter in the promotion, you know, had an attendance right off the bat of like 60 people. But we were already at 40 people on listening devices, so you know it was… But once we launched into a service and weekly and we saw, you know, there’s there’s a hundred people coming every week, that part time person he really needs to be full time.

Rich Birch — Right, right.

Tim Hill — So so that was kind of a goal of we need to get him to full time. And full time means, man he he gets all the same salary and benefits that any other pastor on our church gets. So there’s a significant investment there. But also, you know, what 100 people coming. we got to make sure we’re continually raising the quality of the worship. So.

Rich Birch — Right.

Tim Hill — We need to expand the praise team. They need you know some additional singers. We need to make sure they have good technology on the walls and can do things. We’ve we’ve got to expand communication because all of our communications got to be both English and Spanish. And so who how are we going to get that done? So so there’s all those all those things going on. And so goals around that of you know of really staffing, expanding the quality of things, striving for excellence. Um, but a lot of it was attendance driven.

Rich Birch — Yeah, totally. Love that. Talk to me through the um, you kind of mentioned in in passing there. There’s this tension, and this is true with any ministry. This is not necessarily unique to your Spanish ministry. But there’s always this tension between we want to have timelines for goals, like a goal without a timeline is just a dream. Ah we want to have timelines, but we also want to be flexible on those things. We know that there’s going to be, you know, what was that? You know that everybody has a plan until you get punched in the face – was that a boxer said that? You know it’s like, you know, we we all think things and then it’s like okay we then we go into the real world and and we live, we have to… How have you worked that through, maybe in the church in general, or specifically in the Spanish ministry, trying to have hold those two things in tension?

Tim Hill — Yeah, so so with goals, setting checkpoints so, you know, along the way.

Rich Birch — Right.

Tim Hill — So we would you know the goals were short term sometimes, you know, it was… Um, or if even if it was long term, well you know we’re at 50, we want to see it get to a hundred, and at a hundred we can do these things. And the leader that was part time moving to full time, he was well aware of that and we’re meeting with him. We’re saying okay hey we’ve got to 60, how’s it going? What do you need help with? You know is there any ideas, you know we want to get you there as fast as we can. And so um, you know we we check along the way. Um, but ah I know there’s been times where in those goals we realize this this just is, one, we might be looking at the wrong thing.

Rich Birch — Right, right. Yep.

Tim Hill — Um, you know it’s um, ah you know, where with the attendance we backed up and said man how many first time guests are they having in the Spanish service? So where are those first time guests? How do we get the word out to them? How do we reach them? Do we you know, creating a culture of inviting within there. So helping the pastor shift some language of teaching, but then what can we resource? Will they work with invite cards? Will they use that when they’re at the store and they’re inviting folks, or you know at school or wherever they’re at?

Rich Birch — Love it.

Tim Hill — Um so that’s that’s just kind of how we adapted and adjusted when we would see, Okay, this… we’re struggling here. What’s what leads us to that? Again when we think goals we’ve got the goal, but then we think lead measures. It’s what are the behaviors. The ministry things that we’ve got to do to get to that goal, and that’s where we would go back and start looking at those things.

Rich Birch — Love it. So good. Well this has been just a great conversation. I know so many of us are, again, I think so many of us are looking in our community and saying man, what can we do? And I love that you’ve provided just real practical steps and a real clear picture um, you know, vision forward.

Rich Birch — Um, as we’re wrapping up as we’re kind of looking to to land, how has the Spanish Ministry how’s that impacted the English ministry, kind of the fact that you’ve added this, has that had some kind of ah you know positive, you know, impact on the rest of your ah the rest of your community?

Tim Hill — Boy it sure has. Our our church is… so our vision statement, and we tell our people, we vision to be a gospel-centered, disciple-making community for all people.

Rich Birch — Love it. Love it.

Tim Hill — And if we’re gonna live that out, um it is important for us as we reach our community um that we reflect that. So so they’ve bought into that vision and so when we celebrate like um when we baptize people, the Spanish pastor will come over into that 11:00 service and baptize folks in Spanish so our English folks get to see what’s happening. We’re constantly reporting in, hey right now at 11:00, you know, we’ve got our Spanish service going on. And so we’re sharing the story of what’s happening. They’re doing the same thing over on the Spanish side of what’s happening in the church. So…

Rich Birch — Love it.

Tim Hill — …just those celebrations and casting the vision and so people are just excited.And of course they’re they’re in the same part of the building. So we’ve intentionally set things up where they worship and where they go to groups that they have to walk through the hallways. And they’re not in the closest rooms but sometimes even rooms that take a little while. And so it’s just creating community. Um, even in those in-between service times where they’re walking in the hallways together and seeing each other.

Rich Birch — Yeah, so good. So good. Tim, this has been so helpful. Great conversation today. Anything else you want to share just as we wrap up today’s episode?

Tim Hill — You know, I would just ah I would just encourage, you know, all those leaders out there. As challenging as times can be for us as believers that we may feel there are still so many opportunities. People are so hungry for ah, God’s life change that he could make in their life. And I would just encourage leaders look for those opportunities. Pray about that;be open to that. And then as they identify those things, allow God to lead them to see where where he might expand their vision to to to reach out and share the gospel and help make disciples of those folks. That’s what that’s what we’re striving to do all the time.

Rich Birch — Love it. So good, Tim. If people want to track with you or with the church, where do we want to send them online?

Tim Hill — Yeah, if they just want to go to…

Rich Birch — Love it. Easy.

Tim Hill — …that is our that our website just go to – they can see us there. They can watch services. They can see our ministries, they can link to us as staff, they can email me from there, or contact me. Anything I could do to help, that’s the best way.

Rich Birch — Thanks so much, Tim – really appreciate you being on the show today.

Tim Hill — You bet. Thank you, Rich.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.